Rejuvenate Yourself at Freckles Juice

I’m back at work again, which means happy hours on happy hours on Fridays. Unfortunately, ever since I crossed the threshold of 25 two years ago, my body seems to no longer agree with this philosophy. (I’m still not wise enough to listen, though.)

Needless to say, I was faced with a mild hangover and intended to trade all of my Saturday plans for hours on my couch watching Netflix. (How were hangovers dealt with before the internet?!) That is until my friend Karen called and asked if I wanted to finally check out Freckles Juice. We’ve been saying we should go for weeks and just hadn’t gotten around to it.

The shop is bright and airy with walls adorned with art of all sorts. (I particularly loved “Dear Pretty Brown Girl” by Ronald A. Draper.) A massive chalkboard menu displays a wide array of smoothies and juices. Karen went with the Air Drizzy and I of course forgot the name of mine, but it was a delicious blend of mango and other tropical fruits.

The woman working even offered us a sample of butternut squash soup, which was so good we both ordered some to go.

So, if you find yourself uptown, be sure to treat yourself to something healthy at Freckles Juice.

 

My New Favorite Writing Spot

When I first read about Mon Amour Cafe (shout out to Bronx Narratives for putting me on) I knew I had to check it out immediately. A coffeeshop less than a 10 minute bus ride from my place?! Amazing.

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Mon Amour has both coffee and wine (well..the wine is coming soon!) in addition to being in the Bronx and therefore it is perfect. Two things that writers famously love: caffeine and alcohol. I am no exception. They also have pastries, paninis, and flatbreads.

Though I’m not a coffee drinker, Mon Amour has a wonderful tea selection and makes a delicious chai latte.

For breakfast today I tried out their ham & gruyere sandwich on a toasted pretzel croissant with tomatoes and onions. SO good!

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What I’m really trying to say here (if you haven’t gathered this already) is get thee to Mon Amour ASAP. I don’t really want to share this information with you because I selfishly want it to myself, but alas, that’s just not how business works.

 

What I Learned from Only Shopping at Local Bronx Businesses for the Holidays

Taking on the Bronx Holiday Shopping Challenge was just that, challenging. I travelled all over the borough and had to do a good deal of research, but overall I learned a lot. Specifically, that while shopping local can be a little stressful because many businesses do not have a strong online presence and much of your shopping is done by going there in person, I had really great conversations and interactions with local business owners. They even came with special touches, like free gift wrapping (far better than I could ever do!), discounts, and freebies.

It was a challenge to be open-minded and to sometimes think outside of the box if I couldn’t find exactly what I had in mind. Case in point, I wanted to find a nice terrycloth bathrobe for the fiancee, but apparently, we just don’t do those lol. We do flannel and super soft cotton, but, no, not terry cloth. So, I opted for accessories for his fancy camera. The robe will have to wait until his birthday next month. 🙂

Full List:

UFO Necklace, Zen Lunatic

Peppa Pig Beanie Babies with free key chain, Castle Hill Toys & Games

Burgundy Sweater, Adja’s Boutique

Coquito, Port Morris Distillery

Tirado Moonshine, Tirado Distillery via  Wine and Liquor Super Store (Side note: This place always has tastings, which is amazing!)

Two pairs of girls’ Pajama Pants, Brand Names for Less (which has the look and feel of a 99 cent store, which I wanted to avoid. BUT, they did have many brand name clothing items such as Vince Camuto, Calvin Klein, etc. Some items were priced as high as $80, so decidedly not a discount store in the traditional sense.)

Two pairs of earrings from Paper Crane Heart via Bronx Museum Holiday Market

The Last Puerto Rican Indian by Bobby Gonzalez, Bronx Museum Gift Shop

Tea kettle, Cee & Cee Department Store

Word Search book, Cee & Cee Department Store

The Big Snow and Other Stories Wave Hill Gift Shop (Signed up for my IDNYC membership while I was here. The staff was so wonderful and friendly. Plus, they were having a members only holiday sale with 20% off gift shop items!)

Conch earrings, Native Tec via Bronx Museum Holiday Market

NYC Taxi Driver Calendar via Bronx Museum Holiday Market (The perfect gag gift!)

Morris Perk Bronx blend coffee, Morris Perk via Bronx Museum Holiday Market

Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzels, The Chocolate Place

 

 

 

Bronx Holiday Shopping Challenge Update!

With less than a week until Christmas, I decided I’d post an update on some of the gifts I’ve bought during the Bronx Holiday Shopping Challenge. Of the 13 people on my list, I only need to get a present for ONE more person. *pats self on back*  After Christmas, I’ll post a full list of everywhere I’ve gone, but for now, I’ll just show you.

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Make Everyday Small Business Saturday at these Bronx Businesses

Since I participated in #BlackoutFriday, I thought about how not spending any money at these mega corporations was great and all, but was really just a short-term solution.

Today being Small Business Saturday, I thought about how much more impact it’d have to simply shop local and support small businesses. To maximize this impact, we need to make a conscious decision to do this. While the opening of the Bay Plaza Mall is great and all, we must remember that small businesses are what give character to our neighborhoods (in addition of course to jobs and being an integral part of our economy) and make them communities.

So, check out this list I compiled of some Bronx small businesses you can support year round:

Bella Bath and Body Boutique –  Organic hair and body products, delicious smelling candles, and oils for your home. Check out the post I wrote on them a while back !

Brew Coffeehouse – Their chai lattes and s’more cookies are to die for! Plus, they carry soy milk which is awesome for the lactose intolerant folks out there like myself.

Whoopies Miniature Desserts – I sampled some of their desserts during Bronx Fashion Week. Delicious and cute!

Conti’s Pastry Shoppe – Serving up handmade pastries and desserts since 1921!

Bronx Baking Co. – You guys, they have bacon pretzels! Among other varieties, of course.

Bronx Beer Hall – Beer. Karaoke.Trivia nights. Awesome food. Awesome crowd. It’s in a food market for christ’s sake! It doesn’t get much better than this.

Gun Hill Brewery – The Bronx’s first brewery in decades. They also host yoga classes

Wonder Lee – Creative and stylish bow ties made from  materials like Legos and comics.

What businesses would you add to this list? Comment below with the links and I’ll add them!